The Green Bay Packers today said they are putting an indefinite hold on hosting fans for games at Lambeau Field this season, due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Green Bay and across the state.
During the last two weeks, the Green Bay metro area has had the third highest number of new COVID-19 cases per capita, according to data gathered by the New York Times. The Oshkosh-Neenah area leads the nation in new COVID-19 cases per capita. The Appleton area ranks 4th. Marinette ranks 8th.
The number of people in northeastern Wisconsin hospitalized with COVID-19 has risen from 20 on Aug. 30 to 149, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Statewide there are 853 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to DHS.
In order to host fans at Lambeau Field, the Green Bay area will need to see a marked improvement in the rate of hospitalizations, as well as the community infection rate and positivity rate, the Packers said today.
“We are very concerned with the rate of infection in our area,” said Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy. “We are trending in the wrong direction in terms of hospitalization and positive cases, and based on recommendations from community health care and public health officials, hosting fans at the stadium for games is not advisable at this time.
“We’d all like to resume safely attending games at Lambeau Field. We know enjoying gameday is an integral part of our community and recognize how important it is to our area. However, the health and safety of our players, staff and community is our priority. We all need to take the pandemic seriously and do our part to reduce the spread of the virus, which should lead to significant improvement in the rates of infection and hospitalizations. At that point we’ll be able to experience games in person.
“We urge everyone to wear masks, socially distance and practice proper hand hygiene. When watching our games, please limit the people with whom you cheer to your small circle of family or close friends.”
The Packers will continue to evaluate a variety of factors in consultation with local medical and public health officials for the possibility of hosting fans later in the season.
If the team is able to host fans, season ticket holders who have opted in for the opportunity to purchase tickets will receive instructions about the ticket-purchasing process at a later date.